This was originally published in The Athletic.
We don’t yet know who will manage the Reds in 2019, but after Dick Williams spoke prior to Tuesday’s wet Reds loss at Great American Ball Park, we know who won’t.
Barry Larkin, who’s openly expressed his desire to be the skipper of his hometown team, isn’t being considered for the gig. Given that the team’s last non-interim manager had absolutely no chance to ever succeed, it feels like we’ve spent more time in recent years talking about whether – and in some cases, when – the hall of famer would move into the Reds manager’s office than anything happening on the actual field. Yesterday’s news silences those conversations, at least for the time being, and I’m going to guess, likely forever.
But I’ve always been less interested in the who than I am the why. The precise identity and background of the person the Reds choose to be their next manager matters, but not nearly as much as the reasons for their choice. What factors will drive their decision-making? Does prior managerial experience matter? Will a more analytics-driven candidate have a leg up on the others? How much will it hurt or help to have already been a part of the organization? Will input from current players be taken into account? What will the club’s preferences in potential managers say about the front office’s aggressiveness in improving the roster this offseason? And do things like marketing, ticket sales and currying favor with an increasingly impatient and exasperated fan base matter?
Yesterday’s news tells me that the answer to that last question could be, thankfully, no.
To read the entire piece go to The Athletic.
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